Woolly thinking on assessment

29th September 2006 at 01:00
Congratulations to future English, science and history A-level students. In these subjects they will continue to have opportunities to demonstrate a broad range of their capabilities. Those attainments best assessed through coursework will complement those tested in formal examinations.

As a result, these students' results will be fairer. As a bonus, they are also likely to experience more interesting courses and the skills they develop through coursework will prepare them well for university study and future employment.

What is unclear is why the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority considers internal assessment can be made to work in a few select disciplines but not in others. Why is coursework an acceptable form of assessment for scientific and historical enquiry, but not for geographical enquiry?

Or does the QCA consider plagiarism to be more likely in geography than in English, or teachers less competent to prevent it? This is an arbitrary decision with no clear educational rationale that owes little to the real needs of students.

Dr John Hopkin

Chair, education committee Geographical Association


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now